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Process Improvement

Posted By Jim Boomer, CIO & Shareholder, Boomer Consulting, Inc., Friday, March 7, 2014


The below blog post is a segment of the 2013 Boomer Technology Circles fall letter. This letter highlights the latest strategies, directions and resources discussed at the Fall round of Circle meetings. To learn more about the Boomer Technology Circles, please visit 
www.boomer.com/btc.

Technology is embedded in about everything we do from a work standpoint these days.  It’s also embedded in our processes.  There is a huge interest in increasing efficiency and improving workflow through automation and technology.  And, many firms are attacking this from the process side and initiating major Lean Six Sigma process improvement projects. There are two approaches that firms are taking here: 1) engage a 3rd party expert to lead them through the project and 2) sending employees to training to get their Lean Six Sigma certification so they can drive the initiative.  Both approaches have had success but the firms using an outside resource have made quicker progress.

With the ubiquitous nature of technology today, it’s hard to look at processes and streamlining workflow without considering tools to accelerate your progress.  Some of the tools that are gaining a lot of interest are tools like Bill.com to handle payables and receivables digitally and electronic signatures for client documents such as engagement letters as well as internal documents requiring a signature.  Many firms are anxiously watching the IRS and waiting for them to approve electronic signatures for Form 8879.  In the meantime, we are seeing a growing adoption of this technology  (cPaperless’ CPA SafeSign, EchoSign & DocuSign) due to the time savings and automation of processes.  Tools like Tallie and Expensify are also available to streamline the expense reporting process.    

As with any business, your firm has a lot of processes and a frequent question is “where do we start?”  The answer is to start with the processes that have the biggest impact on your firm’s performance.  Most firms are applying the Lean Six Sigma principals to the tax, audit and client accounting services to get the ball rolling.  Once they have some success and confidence, they are moving on to other areas of the firm.

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Trends Due to Environment

Posted By Administration, Monday, March 3, 2014
Updated: Friday, February 28, 2014

“Sixty-seven percent of all the most expensive catastrophes have happened since the beginning of this century – and 13 of them were here.  So when Jim Boomer was talking about disaster recovery, this isn’t theoretical.  This is getting very real.  For any of you who work with insurance companies or work in the insurance market, you know that insurers are freaking out because they cannot predict anymore when, or where the natural disasters will be and that screws up their model because…”

Economist and Futurist Rebecca Ryan describes risks and opportunities arising from trends due to environmental change.  An excerpt from her presentation “Is Your Firm Future Ready?”  Recorded September 2013 at the Boomer Technologies Circles™ Summit in Kansas City.

3 minutes

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Tags:  2013  BTC Summit  Disaster Recovery  Environmental Issues  Rebecca Ryan  recruiting  ReGENERATION  Strategy and Vision 

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Impact of Mobility

Posted By Jim Boomer, CIO & Shareholder, Boomer Consulting, Inc., Thursday, February 27, 2014


The below blog post is a segment of the 2013 Boomer Technology Circles fall letter. This letter highlights the latest strategies, directions and resources discussed at the Fall round of Circle meetings. To learn more about the Boomer Technology Circles, please visit 
www.boomer.com/btc.

We live in a mobile world and the opportunities and challenges presented by mobility are constantly changing and increasing.  With the proliferation of mobile devices many firms are focusing on getting their policies and security in order.  They are addressing things like Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and Mobile Device Management (MDM).  We had a presentation and lengthy discussion in Boomer Technology Circles 4 on development of mobile applications (both internal and client facing).  There are a growing number of firms that are currently building out their mobile offerings or plan to do so soon.  It’s important that you do proper up-front planning to ensure that the app development doesn’t turn into an endless time and money pit.  Identifying the pain your app will address, the audience, budget, timeline and measures of success will set you up for success and reduce the investment required.

The state of today’s technology in many firms has created an environment where it doesn’t really matter where you do your work (in the office, at home office, at client site, etc.).  As such, managing remote workers has become a real focus of firms as they try to adjust to a new way of communicating and collaborating with employees.   And multi-office firms are leveraging new technologies (Microsoft Lync, Cisco Jabber, etc.) to enhance remote/online training capabilities.  The capabilities technology can offer a distributed workforce have advanced tremendously to the point that firms should all be offering flexible work arrangements to their deserving (and capable employees).

Additionally, as more and more employees work remotely and spend significantly less time in the physical office, many firms are starting to rethink the amount of space required.  Some are starting to look into hoteling models where employees don’t have a permanently assigned workspace but instead select from a pool of available offices/cubicles and check-in for the day, week or month.  Steve Perkins, CIO at HoganTaylor (Boomer Technology Circles 1), shared the cutting edge technology they put into their new offices including a hoteling system that allows employees to identify where their friends are sitting before checking in for the day.  In the spring, Peter Henley, Senior Director of IT (Boomer Technology Circles 2), reported Clark Nuber is moving from 220 square feet/employee to 180 square feet based upon new office designs and trends.  They researched Silicon Valley companies and found the lowest at Facebook with 125 square feet/per employ.  As a point of clarification, this is gross square footage divided by employees and not actual space.  This is certainly a trend you’ll want to pay attention to as there were numerous discussions during the fall meetings.  



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Client Spotlight: Phil Saurman - P3 Leadership Academy

Posted By Jon Hubbard, Thursday, February 20, 2014

Phil Saurman is a Shareholder at Hungerford Nichols CPAs + Advisors. Hungerford Nichols is a 45-50 person, 7 shareholder full service financial, tax and consulting organization founded in 1941. They currently have offices in Grand Rapids, Michigan and Greenville, Michigan. 

"I would not hesitate to recommend the P3 Leadership Academy to any other firm wanting to better enable themselves for the future.  The positive effects for both our manager group and our firm as a whole have been great."

What influenced you to participate in the P3 Leadership Academy?

"Our past experience with Boomer Consulting gave us confidence that Sandra Wiley, along with her fellow Boomer personnel, had the knowledge and the presentation skills to teach and evaluate our manager group in the areas of practice management and business development that our personnel needed."

What value have your managers received from the P3 Leadership Academy?

"Our managers have matured together as a group a great deal. They now have our Firm’s strategic goals as a part of their goals and each manager has specific goals and responsibilities that match the firm as a whole. We believe each manager now feels much more a part of the Firm’s future and are able to influence the growth and improvement of our firm.”

How has your firm benefited from being a part of the P3 Leadership Academy?

"We now have the confidence that we have a manager group well on their way to future partnership status, giving the firm long-term growth and continuation potential. Plus, we now have more personnel at the firm operating at a higher level, reducing some of the pressured previously felt by our partner group.”

How long has your firm participated in the P3 Leadership Academy?

"Two years."

Interested in The P3 Leadership Academy? 

The P3 Leadership Academy™ focuses on developing and elevating the middle of your firm to cultivate astute leaders in the areas of people / team management, planning and processes. More details at www.boomer.com/P3.

We are interested in working with firms that understand developing managers is crucial for their long-term growth. Firms that not only want to recruit great talent, but develop it as well. If you are this type of firm, we want to hear from you.  Go to www.boomer.com/requestinformation and complete our informational form. We'd love to speak with you.

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The Happiness Advantage

Posted By Administration, Friday, February 14, 2014

Do positive attitudes have a role in effective leadership? Sandra Wiley begins the second day of a P3 Leadership Academy session by sharing her thoughts about a book by Shawn Achor, The Happiness Advantage.

3 minutes

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Tags:  2014  Leadership  P3 Leadership Academy  Positive Attitudes  Sandra Wiley 

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Impact of IT Governance

Posted By Jim Boomer, CIO & Shareholder, Boomer Consulting, Inc., Thursday, February 13, 2014

The below blog post is a segment of the 2013 Boomer Technology Circles Fall Letter. This letter highlights the latest strategies, directions and resources discussed at the Fall round of Circle meetings. To learn more about the Boomer Technology Circles, please visit www.boomer.com/btc.

Members of the Boomer Technology Circles take technology more seriously than others.  Just as Ray Kroc said, "I didn’t invent the hamburger, but I took it more seriously than others.”  The Circles provide access to expertise/resources and build peer relationships.  It is even more important today for a firm to have a plan (roadmap) and budget to be able to integrate technology with the firm’s strategic plan.  The most successful firms are reviewing processes, utilizing business analysts and communicating with end users.  Now is the time to get a handle on what is happening with your own office as well as your clients and remain up-to-date on the capabilities of new technology.  The return on your IT investment increases as you invest a larger percentage in innovation and less in infrastructure maintenance.  Many firms have been in the maintenance mode and now desire to move forward.  This will require people with the right attitude toward change, willingness to learn, and improved communications.

As firms shift their attention more toward innovative technologies and less on infrastructure maintenance, they are also recognizing a need for a change in the role in the IT Professional.  The skills required to be a successful IT Leader in the future are changing and professional development needs to be more on leadership, communication, and processes.  If you haven’t taken a look at our CIO Advantage program, I encourage you to do so.  It is focused on helping your IT Leaders make this leap from technician to strategist through leadership, management and soft-skill training rather than IT technical skills.

Both major vendors are focused on the Cloud as well as expanding their mobile application offerings.  CCH Axcess which includes Tax, Document, Portal, Practice and Workstream is gaining some interest among BTC firms and we should have a report on their experiences after the spring BTC meetings.   Earlier this year, CCH reported several firms, including two of the Big 4 successfully running SaaS tax this past season.  Thomson Reuters is now offering a cloud –based engagement solution (AdvanceFlow) built on the GoFileRoom platform with connections to GFR, PPC SMART Suite, and MS Office.  There was also a new release of GoFileRoom in 2013 that introduced significant enhancements.  


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Member Spotlight: Andy Talley - CEO Advantage

Posted By Jon Hubbard, Saturday, February 8, 2014
Updated: Thursday, February 6, 2014


Andy Talley
  |  Principal, Tax Partner  |  Talley & Company  |  CEO Advantage Member Since 2011

"The focus on partner relationships, compensation, organizational structure
and admitting and retiring partners has been valuable.”


What influenced you to participate in The CEO Advantage?

"I was hoping to meet a group of business owners willing to share best practices, challenges and opportunities associated with the difficult challenges in running and/or managing a practice from a business perspective. I knew there was a good start to the group, having had an opportunity to work with several of the managing partners from my experience in the Boomer Technology Circle 5.”

What value have you received by being a member?

"The group has been very forthcoming, open and candid with respect to difficult issues and challenges they face. We have discussed sensitive topics in an open, transparent manner. We are willing to tackle issues that could not be discussed outside a group of decision-makers. Discussions regarding culture and the characteristics of a good partner helped our firm to refocus our energies on our people. Growth strategies have been developed which will have significant impact on our revenues in the future.”

What would you tell another managing partner that is considering joining?

"CEO Advantage is one of the unique opportunities that will allow you to take time to improve your firm as a business. You will work with progressive, open-minded, intelligent, decision-makers who are open to new ideas and that are willing to discuss difficult issues you face in your practice without the perspective of a personal agenda.”

A twenty to thirty person, four partner full service financial, tax and consulting organization founded in 1989 in Orange, CA.  Managing Partner Andy Talley (J.D., C.P.A., M.B.A) has been a client of Boomer Consulting for many years and was a charter member of the first CEO Advantage community in 2011. 

Interested in joining the CEO Advantage?

The CEO Advantage is a community of Managing Partners who act as a collaborative think tank to challenge, encourage and propel each other to a higher level of success. Members attend two meetings and schedule four webinars each year with dates determined by the group. More details at www.boomer.com/ceo.

We want progressive, open-minded, intelligent, decision-makers who are open to new ideas and are willing to discuss difficult issues you face in your firm. If you believe you are that type of leader, we want to hear from you. Go to www.boomer.com/RequestInformaion and complete our informational form. We'd love to speak with you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Tools to Build Collaboration in Your Firm

Posted By Administration, Monday, January 20, 2014

"Finally there is a clear plan and path for truly changing your firm from a group of individuals sharing overhead to a team of collaborators creating something larger than any individual."

L. Gary Boomer, in the forward of Sandra Wiley's new book, The Journey Ahead, A New Roadmap to Collaboration in Your Firm.

In this short video, Sandra describes her newly published book and the reasons it will benefit your firm. Order The Journey Ahead from Amazon.com.

2 minutes

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Tags:  2014  collaboration  New Book  Sandra Wiley 

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Think Mobile First

Posted By Scott Morrill, Thursday, January 2, 2014
Updated: Friday, February 28, 2014

Economist and Futurist Rebecca Ryan connects the development of mobile technology to a decline in the automobile industry and points out other signs that indicate we need to think about mobile in all our technology decisions. An excerpt from her presentation "Is Your Firm Future Ready?” Recorded September 2013 at the Boomer Technologies Circles™ Summit in Kansas City.

4 minutes

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Tags:  2013  Book  BTC Summit  Rebecca Ryan  ReGENERATION  Strategy 

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Happy Holidays from Boomer Consulting, Inc.

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Happy Holidays from Boomer Consulting, Inc. on Vimeo.

25 seconds

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Tags:  2013 

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